marine ecosystem in those regions and the North Pacific. It also will be important to coordinate with NOAA studies of the Bering Sea eco systems and North Pacific (PMEL 2004a,b) and NOAA fisheries studies (AFSC 2004).
In summary, the AYK SSI will be a subset of these larger programs and should take advantage of these ongoing studies. In addition, PICES (2004) serves to coordinate and promote exchanges of information among the nations bordering the North Pacific.
There is a great challenge to assemble, integrate, and make available the data that will be necessary and useful for scientific investigations of the AYK salmon. The data will range from estimates of human and salmon populations to deep ocean temperatures and salinities. Their geographic extent will range from freshwater environments to the entire Bering Sea and North Pacific. Fortunately, other data management groups such as the Data Management and Communications System of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS 2001) are dealing with similar data management issues. They have addressed the problems of data submission, quality control, long-term stability, data exchanges, data archiving, and access and delivery of real time data to resource managers.
Progress has been made at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) on assembling the North Pacific Ecosystem Metadatabase (PMEL 2004b). This provides a catalogue of environmental data for the Bering Sea and the North Pacific and links to the custodians of those data sets. It will serve as an excellent source for national and international data for the AYK region.